3 August 2007 | MartinHafer
A pale imitation of Chaplin
Because Charlie Chaplin was such a huge star in the 1914-1920 time period, there were many shameless imitators that simply stole his "Little Tramp" character and tried to fool audiences. Some of them were obviously not the original--they looked only superficially like him and the films just weren't all that funny. However, Billy West was probably the best of the lot, as unless you know what you are watching, it's probable that you'd think this IS a Chaplin film. Plus, compared to Chaplin films of 1916-1917, this one compares rather favorably and is much funnier than most of the earliest Little Tramp films from Chaplin.
While I admit that West COULD make films as funny as Chaplin's, he was also capable of making rather dull little duds like this one. I think F Gwynplaine MacIntyre gave an amazing review for this film--with a lot of good insights and comments and there isn't much I could add. I wasn't quite as negative about this film, as it did have a few funny gags, but overall it just wasn't interesting and forgot to include jokes. My advice? See Chaplin. At his greatest, West couldn't even come close. At his worst, he was still better than this turgid thing from 1918--by this time, Chaplin's humor was very polished and couldn't be beaten.